DUP MP Paisley fined for breaking political donation regulations

The DUP MP faces two monetary penalties totalling £1300. Credit: UK Parliament

North Antrim MP Ian Paisley has been fined for breaking political donation regulations.

The DUP member was investigated by the Electoral Commission, who have found that Mr Paisley failed to return two donations totalling £2,600 from two 'impermissible donors' within 30 days of receiving them.

It is understood to relate to the purchase of tables at his annual constituency dinner by two councils.

The Commission said Mr Paisley has agreed to return the donations to each donor.

He faces two monetary penalties totalling £1,300 which are due for payment by 8 October 2020.

Alongside Mr Paisley, the UK Health Minister Matt Hancock was also investigated for the same offence after he failed to return a £1,000 donation from an 'impermissible donor' within 30 days of receiving it.

The Electoral Commission has stated that the Conservative minister does not face any sanctions due to mitigating factors and that his case has been closed with no further action.

Matt Hancock was also investigated for the same offence but doesn't face any sanctions. Credit: PA

Commenting on the fines imposed, Louise Edwards, Director of Regulation at the Electoral Comission, has said it is "disappointing when [reporting requirements] are not met."

They continued: "It is vital that voters are given an opportunity to see accurate and timely data on how parties and campaigners are funded.

“The Commission will continue to enforce these requirements on all parties and campaigners to ensure that voters have the information they need.”

The Electoral Commission is an independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK.

Following a change to the law in 2018, donations and loans reported by political parties and other regulated entities in Northern Ireland after July 2017 can now be published.

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